I recently finished reading Deep Work and I realized that I wish I had been aware of the concept of differentiating shallow work from deep work when I was conducting my research.

“Deep Work” is a useful mental model for choosing which activities to prioritize. For instance, there are many activities that may seem important but generate a significant amount of associated shallow work. For example, preparing for a conference involves writing a paper, which may be essential for your career and is considered deep work. However, it also involves finding funding and organizing the trip, which are shallow work activities that may cause you to lose perspective.

Another book that I wish I had known about during that time is How to take smart notes It would have helped me reflect on the importance of having a system in place. In fact, I used to have a system for reading, highlighting, and saving passages, but I did not do much post-processing. I think that a system that forces you to digest the content and write it in your own words would have been much more productive than the one I used.